For classification purposes, Lecrae’s 2008 album Rebel was labeled in the Gospel category. The album was the first Rap/Hip Hop offering to land in the number one spot on Billboard magazine’s Gospel charts, and it remained on the charts for 78 weeks. But when asked if he categorizes himself as a Gospel or Christian rapper during an interview with ThisIs50, the Texas-based emcee gave a decidedly different answer.
“I would describe my music as progressively Hip Hop,” Lecrae explained. “I just grew up all over the place, and I love the culture, art and craft of Hip Hop. So you’re gonna get that essence in my music…Lecrae the person is a Christian, and I have no problem with that nor [am I] shying away from that. But what I do is Hip Hop music. So if I’m a Christian rapper, then Lupe [Fiasco] is a Muslim rapper.”
A more recent glance at the charts may back up Lecrae’s point. His most recent LP, 2010’s Rehab debuted at the number 17 spot for all albums—Gospel, Rap and every other genre. After releasing his Church Clothes mixtape, which featured contributions from 9th Wonder, No Malice and Boi-1da, Lecrae added that he prefers to emcee and “let the music stand where it stands.”
“Some people have already boxed in what it’s gonna sound like or where it stands,” Lecrae said, in regard to people’s preconceived notions about his music. “They might even think it’s wack or that it’s gonna be a 12-point sermon in every song or something along those lines. But that’s just not the case.”
In the fall, Lecrae plans to release his next full-length album entitled Gravity. You can watch the full ThisIs50 video interview below.